Drug Testing

Welfare Drug Testing Bill Passed by Oklahoma House

The Oklahoma House passed House Bill 2388, on a vote of 86-6, sending the bill on to the desk of Gov. Mary Fallin.

HB 2388 will call for drug testing of applicants for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and withhold payments to those who will test positive for illegal drug use. The bill passed by the House, however, has already undergone changes in the Senate. While the original version of the bill called for testing for everyone applying for aid, the Senate modified it such that not everyone will be subjected to testing.

The Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) currently continues to provide assistance to recipients who test positive for illegal drug while undergoing treatment, according to Sen. David Holt, Senate author of the bill. HB 2388 will halt payments while still providing treatment.

Sen. Holt shared: “We do have drug testing in the bill, but only where there is suspicion when the person is on illegal drugs… It sends a message that this is a temporary program paid for by people’s neighbors so that they can get back on their feet. It’s just a common-sense idea that if you are using illegal drugs, this probably isn’t the best time to be using TANF. It’s probably a waste of our money and your time and you need to come back when you’re clean.”

The bill requires that adults who apply for TANF be screened for drug use by the DHS, which will cover the cost of screening. Child-only cases, as well as underage parents, will be exempted from testing, and parents who test positive can name an alternative person to receive benefits, ensuring that children of erring parents may still continue to receive benefits.

Applicants undergoing treatment may reapply for benefits six months after their date of denial.


  1. Jon

    It appears 2012 is shaping up to be a year in which many states are entertaining the ideas of welfare testing. While some states are still skeptical, many have passed laws and are at least discussing the measure.

    It will be interesting to see which states have more success then others and what methods they are implementing to achieve that success.

  2. Jessica S. Allen

    This makes me so happy, to hear that someone is actually doing something to better the economy! Great job Oklahoma, now we just need the entire nation to follow your footsteps!

  3. Dwight James

    Im not an drug addict. In the past I was and this is fucking stupid. If i had to test to get food stamps than I would have to steal food get charged owe fines than feel bad use more drugs. Drug abuse is a vicious cycle. Fuck those foo's who think thay can make laws that affect people but have no idea the hardships of those people.

  4. Dwight James

    Most drug addicts dont really spend money on food or drugs, cause most drug addicts dont have money for ether. I especially like the quote from this article that really said thay think its a wast of money to keep people fed. Drug addicts are people to.

  5. Jim Ritchie

    It's easy, just tell them for a few million dollars in drug testing you too can save hundreds of dollars in welfare.

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